Something to chew on

tooth model

As a child, I used to think teeth were the most important part of the human body. Can you blame me? So much attention was paid to them. In first grade, I can remember the teacher demonstrating proper brushing methods using a huge set of molars and an oversized toothbrush. One year we were asked to brush our teeth and then given a little red pill to chew; some of us were scolded when big red stains on our teeth showed we’d done a poor job of brushing. Dental checkups came with gifts: a new toothbrush and a tiny tube of toothpaste. Cavities were treated without delay. Parents obsessed about crooked teeth and the cost of braces, but in the end, straight teeth won out. There was even a mythical creature dedicated to paying for lost teeth, proving to me how precious they were. As far as I can recall, teeth were my first earned revenue stream, even before an allowance. How could we not grow up thinking our pearly whites were a vital part of the human body? As important as teeth...